Disclaimer: The Call of the Lord is a work of fiction. All incidents and dialogue, and all characters with the exception of some well-known historical figures, are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real.
I am changed. My heart has been taken, stripped of all that I once clung to, and become clean and pure.
It all started with the very first day that I heard Reverend George Whitefield preaching.
I had never thought much about God and had attended church for the sake of my parents, believing that if I as a good person, I was a Christian. But deep down in my dirty, rebellious heart, I did not want to be a Christian. I only wanted to do what sounded good to me and only me. I rather enjoyed being a sinner, going out at the middle of the night, partying with my friends, and sneaking bits of tobacco and gin, even after my parents had carefully rebuked me. I was walking on the broad way, the treacherous, seemingly fun path that led to Hell. Endless punishment and torment awaited me if I did not change my ways before it was too late.
I remember the day that changed my life forever.
It was a bright spring morning. The lilies in our garden had just begun to open their buds, and my parents had their hearts set on going to listen to an itinerant preacher man. I did not want to; the thought repulsed me. I was accustomed to getting my own way without much trouble, but today was different. I screamed, yelled, and ranted, informing my parents that they were ludicrous for wanting to listen to this man. Had they lost their minds? I told them that I would go swimming in the creek instead. I had already made arrangements with two of my friends who were also of the same mindset as me, and I would not give in.
My parents were distraught at my despicable behaviour and finally dragged me, thrashing and raging, out the door and into the carriage. I heard them discussing what to do with me while I lay down in the back, sulking and cursing them in my mind. My older sister Sarah prodded me and asked why I always acted so moody and sour. I did not answer but scowled gloomily at her and turned away. It seemed that all the world was against me.
Finally, after what felt like many torturous hours, we arrived at the church where the service was scheduled to be held. I knew this church; it was the one I was forced to go to every Sunday. Each long dreary sermon that I had to attend, I let my mind wander to other things, even risking a few winks of sleep. Even thinking about it made my heart resentful toward my horrible parents for bringing me here against my will. What did this reverend have to do with the small town of Harrisburg? We did not need him! I dragged my feet as I followed my parents to our usual pew and stuck my tongue out at a small girl who peeked at me, giggling. I hated everyone, but I also knew and refused to believe that my own wayward spirit was the problem. No, it could not be that.
Suddenly, I saw him standing there in the doorway of the church. Reverend George Whitefield.
He wore a long black gown with white trimmings on the edges. His short white hair hung just below his pointy ears. I turned my head away with a scoff. He did not deserve to preach in this church.
As he walked past our pew to the pulpit, he looked at me with his piercing eyes, and for a short moment my heart softened. I felt embarrassed about what I had just been thinking, and I bowed my head in shame. It lasted only a moment, however, and within seconds I was feeling resentful again.
I was so angry towards my parents, my sister, the world, that all my feelings bubbled up and exploded in one ugly, quiet but disturbing, sound.
My parents turned and looked at me with horror and anger filling their blazing eyes. The entire congregation looked on as my father clenched my arm and told me that if I made one more sound, he would ban me from doing anything ever again. I knew he would keep his word, so I huddled at the end of the pew, resorting to throwing nasty glares in my parents’ direction. They stared ahead.
While I was meditating on selfish, unjust, and vicious thoughts about my parents, a loud booming voice, shaking the church like an earthquake, spoke.
“Welcome to the house of God! I am George Whitefield.”
His thundering voice startled me so much that I let out a loud gasp of surprise. My already fuming parents, livid with my behaviour, warned me to be silent, or else we would be forced to leave the church. That idea sounded like music to my bitter, spiteful ears, and I wondered if I should make another noise to rescue my family and get us out of this terrible place.
I sighed. It probably would not turn out for the best. My parents would likely try to ground me, which would cause a large fuss.
I decided to attempt to listen to this man so that I could mock the things he spoke about. He began with reading a verse in the Bible, John 3:16, but I did not bother opening the Bible in front of me; instead, I watched his face, mentally daring him to single me out for my willfulness.
Then the most surprising thing happened. He spoke about being a Christian.
However, what astonished me the most was that instead of preaching that good works made you a Christian, he said that you must believe that Jesus Christ is real, repent truly from your sins and give up everything for God to be a true Christian.
My brow furrowed. I most certainly had not repented from my sins. Why, I committed so many sins every day that I did not feel bad about doing them anymore! George Whitefield told us all that if we did not repent, we would be sent to the fiery pit of Hell where we would live forever in pain and torment with no relief even if we cried out to God.
The minute he had started speaking, something inside me had begun to listen even though I hated him and the message. I wrestled with myself. One part of me desired to become a Christian, but another part wished to remain as I was and to live my life as I always had.
It appeared that the latter side was winning when, to my utter shock and embarrassment, I fell to my knees sobbing and screaming out to God to save me before it was too late. I repented of my sins, begging Jesus to forgive me. Immediately a warm feeling filled my body, bringing fresh tears to my eyes. God had saved me! What a miracle!
I stood up and looked around. People all across the congregation were crying and screaming out to God to rescue them, just like I had done. My parents and sister, other family members, and even my friend and fellow troublemaker David were on their knees too. I crept over to my parents, who had risen to their feet and were embracing my aunt and uncle and begged them to forgive me for being so bitter, selfish, and deceitful. Through their tears they smiled and forgave me. I leaned forward and gave them a hug. It felt good to be forgiven, so good. My heart rejoiced at the freedom it now experienced. I was a new person!
I grew up to be a zealous young man, strong in the Lord. I have not forgotten, nor never will, the day of my salvation and the day I heard Pastor George Whitefield. I hope that whoever reads this will be encouraged in their faith and walk with God, or, if they have not yet made the decision to follow Jesus Christ, that this will inspire them to do so.
Meet the Author
How old are you?
I am 14 years old, a New Zealand citizen who loves life, school, family, and writing.
Where do you live?
I live on Rarotonga, a stunning tropical island in the South Pacific. It is part of the beautiful Cook Islands, a nation like no other. The island I live on is quite small, only 19 miles in circumference, but it is the largest of all 15 islands in the chain. Rarotonga is fringed by a reef which encases a crystal clear lagoon filled with a colorful variety of tropical fish.
What classes are you taking with TPS?
I am currently taking American Literature, History, and Composition with Mrs Huisman, but I am planning on taking English 3 Lit and Comp: Dreams and Deceptions with Miss Shearon next year as well as Health and Wellness and College and Career Planning.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
What I love the most about writing is that I have the freedom to express myself and glorify my Creator. Writing is probably the thing I do the most (outside of school hours, of course!), and it is one of the places where I am the most happy. I write quite a few short stories like this one, but one of my favorite hobbies is writing fanfiction, specifically for Lord of the Rings.